Copy and paste into worship material

Readings: Mozart

Why is it that this man is so incomparable? Why is it for the receptive, he has produced in almost every bar he conceived and composed a type of music for which 'beautiful' is not a fitting epithet, music which for the true Christian is not entertainment, enjoyment or edification, but food and drink; music full of comfort and counsel for his needs; music which is never a slave to its technique or sentimental, but always loving, free and liberating because wise, strong and sovereign? Why is it possible to hold that Mozart has a place in theology, especially in the doctrine of creation and also in eschatology, although he was not a father of the Church, does not seem to have been a particularly active Christian and was a Roman Catholic, apparantly leading what might appear to us a rather frivolous existence when not occupied in his work? It is possible to give him this position because he knew something about creation in its total goodness that neither the real fathers of the Church nor our Reformers, neither the orthodox nor Liberals, neither the exponents of natural theology nor those heavily armed with the 'Word of God' and certainly not the Existentialists, or indeed any other great musicians before and after him, either know or can express or maintain as he did... Mozart enables us to hear that creation praises his master and is therefore perfect.

Karl Barth

It is disturbing to find someone who loves the music of one composer as deeply as this and yet in so exclusive a way. A good deal of Mozart one might well want to live with continually - but all Mozart and nothing else? Is not the best of Haydn, for example, very much better than the least inspired of Mozart, and on Barth's argument does not he too have a message, albeit with a much more limited range? And what about all composers, from early music to the present day? Are there not voices and messages to be heard there as well?

(Bowden (1983), Karl Barth: Theologian)